Thursday, February 26, 2015

Show off!

For the past few posts, Dime Box Nick has been showing his haul from the Orland card show this past Sunday. Fortunately, I have different tastes in cards, so digging through dime and nickel boxes means we don't often cross paths on needs/wants. I missed the first table Nick hit, and I am a little mad at myself for that one, but I hit a few dime boxes here and there and scored some nice cards.

I pulled all but a dozen 2015 series 1 cards for one dealer (little help on what's left?), and I also scored the last cards I needed on UD series 1 hockey. Plus he had practically a whole Fleer Ultra set of Hawks, so I snagged those as well. Not all the cards were a dime, but I think they all averaged to a quarter or so.

The show really delivered the bunts. Fourteen new cards of players laying one down were scored from the vendors. How interesting is it that the Flair card has the uniform color changed when compared to the Chasing History card.

Four new throwback cards. I snagged the base of that Alvarez in the center. Nick pointed out to me that Middlebrooks is a throwback. That is a different cap then they normally wear, so I'll picked it up.

Half a dozen new double plays. Love those Museum Quality Pinnacle cards.

Technically, Nick pulled the Rowand and the Crede for my player collections. I receive a ton of the Ring of Honor cards - they are always Jermaine Dye. Good to know there are other Sox players in the set. I learned of the Brian Roberts card a year of so ago. Great broken bat card that split length wise.

Lastly, tons of Negro League cards were to be found. Great Of the Game is a killer set. It's even better when you put amazing players like you see here. I grabbed 10 or so from the set. Again - I need a binder for my Negro League cards. Hard to appreciate them when they are in a stack.

So that's a far showing of my haul. I dropped $15 buck I think at the show, and four of that was on one card. Certainly nowhere in the range of what Nick took home. But it was less about the cards and more about hanging out and talking cards with a good guy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cut it out.

Did you know the first edit of the Charleston Heston epic "Ben Hur" was over four and a half hours long? After numerous changes, the final release was 213 minutes (3 hours 43 minutes long). The classic movie "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" was first previewed at the Cinerama Dome theater at 192 minutes. It was trimmed to 162 minutes when it went to general release. By the time it hit television, it was at 154 minutes.

To no one's surprise, it's common to chop apart a movie to fit into a certain time frame. The issue, though, is you can end up with some confusing story lines. Without knowledge of the Anchorhead scene of Biggs telling Luke he's jumping ship to the Rebellion, it's weird how Luke is so torn up over the death of some random X-Wing pilot, as he was introduced in the original theatrical release. A brilliant dance scene was cut from the Wizard of Oz to shorten the movie. And let's not go into the numerous cuts of Blade Runner.

Music has the same issue. The phrases "album cut" and "radio edit" describe what happens. They will do their best to chop down a song so it fits well in the flow of a station's format, but some great songs get horrible versions. The radio edit of Billy Joel's "Piano Man" chops out the whole third verse, having the ending of the third verse become the ending of the 2nd verse. When Manfred Mann redid Springsteen's "Blinded By the Light", it was over 7 minutes. It clocks in at under 4 minutes on your local classic rock station, slicing out a 3 min plus jam in the middle. I could go on - Sultans of Swing, Love is Like Oxygen, Hocus Pocus, Hard to Say I'm Sorry....

2015 Topps, while a strong, strong release compared to the past decade, has some pretty bad cropping. There are some glaring omissions when you look at series 1. Stuff like:


Part of a leg.


Did I mention feet?

No really...feet.

A lot of feet.

Someone really hates feet.

To like a Dexter level of hate.

Elbows too.

Plus hands.

And tops of the head.

Even lopping it off at the neck.

Why do you hate God, Topps?

This post was inspired by the following song, which for years I only heard on the radio, realizing that the 90 second guitar solo was chopped to under 40 seconds. It's a much better 5 minute tune. Compare and enjoy at about 2:40.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The postman always hates twice

I've talked about working from home before. It is a luxury for me, with the money saved from avoiding gas, tolls ($5 a day total), vehicle wear and tear, and lost sleep. Not getting up at 5am, to leave by 6 and get to work by 7:30 each day....that got old. Plus I think the dog likes me being here on a mostly daily basis.

Being in my computer room, I can see the curb. Today, my postman spent a good two minutes getting the mail into the box. As I am watching him, he's playing one large white or yellow envelope in after another. I hustled out to the mailbox to find 9 pieces of mail: one piece of junk and these eight:

From Ebay, Just Commons and generosity, let's touch on all of these.

Top left, with the big "F" is a Just Commons order.

Set fillers. Knocked out some insert needs for 2013 Heritage and '14 A&G. Also some high numbers for '08 UD Masterpieces, a bunch of 2013 Cooperstown and all but one card for the 2010 UD ball fields. Man....great photo the the Mariners there, eh?

The manila envelope with the "F" leaning on the Just Commons package, plus the white PWE on the lower left, were Ebay orders of 2010 Turkey Red inserts.

The Cepeda in the middle was the PWE. The outside were part of a 40 card purchase. I decided to chase this insert set, and this order put me about halfway. I have a needs list for the rest if you have any of these lying around you don't want.

The other Ebay purchase in the photo is the manila envelope at the far right, in the middle.

Decided Paulie's farewell card would make for a nice rainbow, with the less parallels out this year. Here's the black I scored. Purple is on the way and I should have the gold secured by the end of the week.

So what about the Priority Box? That was a gift from CommishBob from Five Tool Collector. I hate him for all the amazing Pierces he has that I don't. But I think these cards were less a peace offering and more a "shut up and stop being a damn baby".

Just kidding. Bob would say nothing like that. Bob has some great cards in his collection, and it's nice to know someone has secured some great Pierce white whales. The note from Bob said a guy at his show had cheap-o vintage. Oh man are these beautiful! Just the condition I like for the '64 I am building. 30 cards total. Thanks Bob!

Toppish, to the right (as you look at the envelopes) is a manila package with a yellow box containing my address. Kerry from Cards on Cards dropped that one on me.

Stuffed with White Sox and a couple bunting cards, he also added that super sweet Al Oliver miscut from the Milton Bradley game, and a Sweet Spot Paulie for his player binder. Appreciate the awesome gesture of cards, Kerry.

Two left to talk about. Lower right is the other PWE, this one from the great blog Johnny's Trading Spot run by Johnny himself. In it was 2/3 of a 9 pocket page stuffed with a few collections cards.

DPs, throwbacks (seriously Cleveland - how is that not your everyday uniform) and a nice grouping of Negro League players. I need to dig out those cards and binder them up. All former Negro League players deserve better than being in a stack. Thanks again, John.

It just happens that the package in the middle is last. That's a Zippy Zapping from the man responsible for Cervin' Torren' (insert name heren') Up Cards. Four of Zippy's famous repacks were within. But you are only getting one image - some of the cards are being held for a later post.

There were current Sox in the package too, but here's a couple super sexy vintage cards, plus the mini version of the Clemente puzzle. I wonder if Zippy threw it in as filler, but I will gladly take in and find a spot for it. More from Zippy later, but I'll say ありがとう now. (Google translate don't fail me now!)

What a mail day. I was hit hard, but I think I survived.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday - 02.12.2015

Every Thursday, I post a card showing a ballplayer wearing a throwback uniform from my collection. Hopefully, he will be wearing it well, with proper pants blousing. I'll try not to duplicate a uniform. The picture may be from the front of the card, or the back. Enjoy the uniforms from years past.

Jed Lowrie - 2014 Bowman (state and hometown parallel) - Oakland Athletics

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Imitation is the fastest form of collecting

If you want to get a lot of cards in your collection fast, Wes from Jaybarkerfan's Junk will be more than happy to make you work overtime in organization. The man is a legend in his generosity.

He's not the only Robin Hood out in the blogging world, though. Last year, I received a small priority mailer one day - super heavy. I have packed a few of these (not to bursting) and I can tell you you can stuff about 350-360 cards into one of those boys. All for under six bucks shipped. I was shocked, though, at the return address on the label. This heavy box, loaded with 373 cards by the way, came from the 27th state of the union - Florida. The sender - John from Johnny's Trading Spot. Besides a few PWEs, I have not dropped anything major on John. But he made sure to hit me hard.

As I said, it totaled 373 cards. Yes - that is three box bottoms at the bottom of the stacks. We'll talk about them in a bit. John took time to know my binders, and send cards as such.

First of were 17 cards that fit either my autograph, bat barrel or outfield catch binder. Except... I don't have any of those. I think a couple of my quirky binders get me confused with Nick at Dime Boxes, who does collect those three subjects. However, Nick and I are hooking up in Orland a week from this Saturday, so I will pass these on to him.

Next largest group were 32 throwbacks, of which 15 were new cards for my collection. Gotta love Craig in a uniform he probably pulled out of his closet. Philly needs to bring back the uniform Brogna is wearing as a Sunday uniform or something. BTW - the other 17 cards are going to Nick.

Double plays? There were 56 in the box. 18 Are new additions to my DP binder. That SportFlix scanned really well so you can see Durham turning two. Fun fact - Spiezio is from Morris, IL, about 20 miles west of me. We go to Morris often for a gondola at Corleones. His parent's still own a furniture store that we pass on the way to downtown Morris off I80.

Here's the main crux of the box - 113 cards of players bunting. Unfortunately, only 22 we new cards, However, there were plenty of Sox dupes, plus a couple dozen early 90's UD, so I will get those into other collections.

About 150 of the cards were White Sox. And they spanned so many years and sets.

Initial sorting and about 40-50% of them I know are not in my Sox box. And those are what I am sure of. Are there some dupes? Sure. But they will make for great TTM requests.

On the right is the lone Blackhawks card John sent - a tear out from an SI Kids magazine. On the left - well, you can see. It's a monster Topps of Lamarr. I like how he's only 'stache'd in the action shot, but sporting a beard in the portrait.

And lastly were three box bottoms. Here is the only Sox on any of the three, but I have zero box cards, whether still grouped or separated by some 8 year old with safety scissors. The Kid's are is so positioned it looks like Carter's card was made my Panini. This was a box from '86 Fleer. The other box bottoms - one was an '86 Donruss with Kirk Gibson, Williet Hernandez, Doug DeCinces and a Hank Aaron puzzle. The other is an '86 Topps with Reggie, Donny Baseball, Willie McGee ad Oddibe McDowell.

I still have the sorting of all the White Sox cards, but I cannot thank you enough for this box out of the blue. If anyone else feels a need to "Be Like Jay", I can give you my address.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My kind of dollar store

I love me a good dollar store. Though, the quality of a lot of the items are subject to scrutiny. The aluminum foil is thin, the soap lathers poorly, all the toys are really bad knock offs of current popular items. Most of the stuff at those stores are shady at best.

Better eat a Schmitker's!
One thing most dollar stores are good for is cards. I can usually find older retail, or 5 packs of current releases. With luck, I get a 33 card pack of mostly junk wax. Fun rips no matter what I find. DJ, however, from Sportscards From the Dollar Store, seems to have the best cheap cards around. I never have consistent good pulls as DJ will get. And if the last couple of mailings are any sign of Canadian repacks, I'm Toronto bound.

Not sure these came from a repack, but I don't recall DJ ripping a bunch of Bowman. At least not that he posted. However, I am not one to turn down any needed Sox for my collection, prospects or not.

Here's the kind of stuff I never see in repacks, or in dime boxes.

Ever better!!! Since they scan like crap, that a single diamond Sharp in the top left, and a triple TvR (Trevor van Reimsdyk) top right. But the Hawks didn't stop here.

OH YEAH!!! Vintage O-Pee-Chee. The team card is from '77, and the '72 set provided Bobby's younger brother Dennis, and Cliff Koroll, solid winger for the Hawks in the decade of the 70's. A week or so after these cards, DJ dropped a PWE on me with these.

2014 Stadium Club base set complete. Now for the inserts....

Thanks as always, Doug. I think my group of cards for you is just about at PWE status.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

And the winner is....

So the Bip Awards were handed out last week. Congratulations to all the well deserving winners in each category. Night Owl won blog of the year, to the shock of no one. I called it, so he owes me half his winnings. Then again, it will probably be crappy Dodgers, so he can keep it all. However, I have the final award for 2014 to hand out - the 2nd Best Blog of the Year. You remember the rules, right? N.O. wins each year (see two lines above), so I wanted to recognize the best of the not Night Owl blog. After I put up the post about my idea for this award, I emailed Greg to be sure he understood the good humor behind it. He and I have a good relationship and saw the fun in it that I intended.

Let's see if I can challenge that fun with the trophy for the winner.

Poor Bubo
Man - I don't know if there are enough Nomo cards in circulation to make up for that.

But enough hijinx - you all want to know who you, the readers, decided was the blog that would be #1 if the voting was slightly altered. After 52 total votes (I did not vote, btw), the winner of the "coveted" trophy is:

FIRST - Shoebox Legends
SECOND - Dime Boxes
THIRD - Catching Up With Collecting

And there you have it, the great read Shoebox Legends is voted the best of the rest. A well deserving blog as it is one of my regular reads. Considering some of the nominees, it was a tough battle to come out on top. Nick at Dime Boxes pulled into 2nd of being 2nd (does that make him third?), and Jared over at Catching Up rounded out the top three. 

I'm working on some prizes for the winners, as well as a prize pack to Dave at Wax Stain Rookie who nominated Shoebox Legends. For the record, it was the very first comment on the nomination post. Well selected, Dave.

Ok, that was fun (I hope). Now let's get back to ripping some wax.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Throwback Thursday - 02.05.2015

Every Thursday, I post a card showing a ballplayer wearing a throwback uniform from my collection. Hopefully, he will be wearing it well, with proper pants blousing. I'll try not to duplicate a uniform. The picture may be from the front of the card, or the back. Enjoy the uniforms from years past.

Matt Cain - 2014 Topps Stadium Club - San Francisco Seals

Monday, February 2, 2015

2015 in hand! Someone is in trouble at Target

That card is in hand - I didn't grab that off the net. Had to run to Target (yes - this was a had to) and someone put out the cereal boxes and the blasters. No loose packs. So I bought a hanging box. Let's have a quick look.

Back of Jeter's card. Not sure how much of the backs have been previewed. Easy to read number, and the series label too. Complete stats.

Pulled two White Sox. Thank you Topps for a proper final card for Paulie. If you don't use him again, it's much better his last card is a common in flagship and not a short print in another product. Dig those easy to read names and almost complete lack of foil. Dammit Topps - DON'T MAKE ME LIKE 2015 FLAGSHIP!!!!!

Three for the binders. Of the 72 cards in the brick, not a single throwback uniform. Disappointing!

Future Stars. The rookie cup is a plus. The crappy foil printed "Future Stars" is bad. Very, very bad.

These are not checklists. But damn - I like these! Granted, all three of these teams made the post season. I assume all 30 teams get a team card like this.

The Rosario is a gold. That Davis in the middle - think of the card printing similar to Bowman Platinum. I happened to pull a base of Davis, which is the card on the far right. Not sure the name of this parallel, but I am sure it is not needed.

The First Home Run cards were the last two in the brick. Love that the Tulo is a picture of him possibly from that game, as he is certainly not number 14. I love the idea of the first pitch. What I don't love is that the set doesn't have a lot of diversity. Three Cubs cards out of 15? That's like Yankee-type sorting.

Last inserts. That Schmidt is very 8th grade layout. Bad design. Nick - you are going to LOVE that Robbed in Left insert. And the Archetypes is too busy. Add two move colors and it's '95 Fleer all over again.

There - didn't say much because I wanted to hit publish. So "publish".